Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Georgia Organics 5 Million Meal Challenge! Are You In?





Georgia Organics  5 Million Meals Campaign, is  a statewide effort to get 5 million meals made with locally grown food served in K-12 cafeterias across Georgia. The launch took place at the Atlanta premiere of the documentary "Cafeteria Man," which screened at Georgia Public Broadcasting's studios.

OPPORTUNITY: Farm to School in Your School Wellness Policy
 
What is a district wellness policy?
Farm to school advocates, it’s time to flex your muscle! School districts across the country are updating their wellness policies. Each and every school district that receives any funding through the school breakfast, lunch or snack program is required to have a policy that covers the whole district and outlines goals for healthy food and physical activity. A district wellness policy is a way to enforce schools to set individualized policy around improving the health and wellness of its students.

Why Farm to School?
Farm to school programs focus on increasing the amount of and preference for fresh fruits and vegetables among school children, emphasizes nutrition education based on whole foods, and helps kids develop understanding of where food comes from. The inherent goals make farm to school a natural option for your district’s wellness policy. In fact, in 2009 the Centers for Disease Control identified farm to school programs as an effective mechanism to improve the quality of school meals, enhance effectiveness of nutrition education, and provide opportunities for experiential learning through food and agriculture.

Help us get farm to school concepts written in to the school wellness policies! It would mean:
  • more kids will be eating fresh, locally grown food
  • more schools implementing farm to school programs
  • more support for our local farmers including opportunities to develop relationships with local schools and students

Never heard of a wellness policy? Don’t worry, you are not alone! Georgia Organics has developed a handy little advocate tool to help you.  Access a handy advocate tool here.

Follow these steps to join the conversation:
  1. Contact your school district’s nutrition director to find out where the wellness policy process is. (They usually work out of your district’s administrative offices.)
  2. Ask how parents, students and the larger community can engage in the process? Are there stakeholder meetings scheduled? Can you submit comments and a list of supporters?
  3. Ultimately, every school board votes on the final wellness policy. Engage your school board member in this conversation now. Don’t wait for the vote. They need to know the wellness policy is a great way to support farm to school in a broader way.
Get Involved: 

 

Interested in hosting a showing of the movie in your community? Use Cafeteria Man to help support farm to school in Georgia. Organize a house party or community screening. Invite Parents, Teachers, Students, School Food Advocates, Policy Makers, Farmers, others. Learn more about the film and how to host a screening at CafeteriaMan.com. Enter promo code: GEORGIA (Publicity materials & School Food Action guides are available on website for free download.) 

Help us bring more fresh, healthy food to our school kids and expand the opportunities for GA farmers? Go here and Georgia achieve 5 million meals and beyond! 

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